H&H speaks to the people behind eventer Parkfield Quintessential to find out why he looks set to excel in 2015

Name: Parkfield Quintessential
Foaled: 2008
Breeding: by Quicksilber and out of Carino Biene SZ (Carino Son)
Breeder: Sharon Bishop
Rider: Zoe Wilkinson

Parkfield Quintessential (Quinty) shot into the spotlight when he won both the four and five-year-old Burghley young event horse finals, becoming only the third horse to achieve the double. In 2014, as a six-year-old, he was sixth at the world breeding championship at Le Lion d’Angers, and achieved two CIC* wins.

It’s been a whirlwind journey for breeders Sharon, Nigel and Holly Bishop, who only intended to breed one horse, and a showjumper at that.

“Quinty came about due to me being hugely emotional about [daughter] Holly’s showjumper, Carino Biene SZ (Ethel),” Sharon says.

“Holly had started work and I couldn’t bear to part with Ethel. So we put her in foal — she was nicely bred, as well as being a proven showjumper. She is an old-fashioned warmblood, so we wanted a modern stallion and set off to the Schockemöhle stud in Germany — it was like going into a sweet shop. We saw a really smart Quattro B son called Quicksilber, but thought he was unproven, so decided to go with his father.

“Then we got a phone call to say the Quattro B semen wasn’t available and would we like Quicksilber. I thought it was meant to be.

“Eleven months later, an exquisite foal popped out. He was graded elite in both dressage and showjumping at Futurity, but it wasn’t until his mother came back into work and Holly had her on livery at Paul Tapner’s yard that eventing came into the picture. Quinty was two and needed backing, so we sent him to Zoe Wilkinson, who worked at Paul’s yard. The rest is history.”

Because of Quinty, Parkfield Breeding has grown into more than Sharon ever imagined.
“When Quinty won the young event horse final aged four, I thought they’d called him in 10th. I’ll never forget that day — I thought things like that didn’t happen to unknown people. Our breeding operation has since become serious — I want to have a horse at the Olympics.

“Breeding is expensive — the covering costs are the least of your costs, so it’s vital not to scrimp on that. You must be brutal about evaluating your own mare and be mindful about how big a role the mare plays.”

Zoe feels privileged to have ridden Quinty from the start and thinks he has what it takes to reach the top.

“He’s got a very good brain and attitude,” she says. “He has a lot of physical talent, so that combination makes him consistent.

“The big aim for 2015 is to return to Le Lion for the seven-year-old championship. I want to get a few more intermediates under his belt and step him up to two-star.”
Sharon thinks Quinty’s character will help him go far.

“He was a cheeky chappy,” she says. “He would kick a football around the field with us as a baby — he was more like a child than a horse.

“He’s a kind, happy horse, but also a serious competitor: he digs deep and gives his all.”

This article was first published in the Best of British special issue of Horse & Hound magazine (8 January 2015)